Hardcastle towers is a tall four-storey Edwardian house. When we first moved here we were a family of three, we very rarely ventured up to the attic floor as we had no need for it it. For years it was a baron dumping ground filled with all sorts of junk. As our family grew we were able to move up into this space and utilise it well. The front attic bedroom is the biggest room in the whole house, it only has a tiny window, which is quite high up so there is a tendency for it to to be dark in there. It’s a really funny shape with low sloping ceilings, I love these as it adds so much character to the room and is a brilliant place to drape bunting and fairy lights from. As it sits directly beneath the roof it is cold in winter and warm in summer.
My oldest daughter, Lily, has been in this room since we decorated it for her when she was a little girl, about twelve years 12 years ago. We chose a very light wallpaper to reflect the light back into the room and to keep it bright, white hemnes furniture from Ikea and a cream carpet. A large mirror dominates one wall as she was an avid dancer from a young age spending hours prancing around up there perfecting her moves. Macaroni, the rocking horse that her grandad made her when she was born lives there too.
The space is very tired and in need of much TLC, I’m sure you can imagine it has seen better days. The record for the amount of people she had sleeping in there was 10 and we got used to young teens tramping up and down the stairs in the middle of the night. One night we awoken as a stranger opened our bedroom door and turned on the light I don’t know how was more shocked when she said oh sorry I thought this was the bathroom! The ballet posters were torn down over the years down and replaced with Polaroid photographs and gig tickets, these in turn were ripped down when she flew the nest and headed off to university. (Ripped being the operative word). The cream carpet has stains from spilt drinks, make up and goodness knows what else.
When she packed up 18 months ago taking her personal possessions the room felt like a shell and no longer felt homely. I wanted to make it feel gorgeous again and inject some personality back in to it. This room will always be Lily’s bedroom. You may or may not know that we are foster carers and soon after she moved away social workers tried to persuade us to move another young person in! This ain’t never going to happen, it will always be her room and I envisage her coming back for years bringing her family with her. So even though I wanted to update and revamp it I had to keep her essence at the heart of it. Her childhood teddy bears are still on top of the wardrobe, her empty Coca-Cola bottle from when the Olympic flag went past the house in 2012, her battered Enid Blyton books all have a place there.
After I had a fumigated and emptied at least five black bin bags full of rubbish out of there I was ready to start on the cosmetic side and begin titivating.
The obvious place to start was with the bed. The pale pink brushed cotton bedding that we already had was perfectly okay so I accessorised this with a dusky pink Jaipur throw and cushions from Christy home. I already have this throw in ink in my bedroom and it is absolutely stunning, Albus our huge tomcat has fallen in love with the soft velvet and has already claimed it as his own. A beautiful zebra cushion from Elizabeth Scarlett was the perfect finishing touch.
I then knew I had to tackle the faded ripped wallpaper behind her bed. I didn’t really have the time or energy to redecorate so I was delighted when Desenio approached me and offered me some prints to create a gallery wall. I had great fun choosing pictures which reminded me of my Lily. I have never created a gallery wall before I remembered I needed to choose prints in different sizes. It was brilliant to buy them all together because I could create a sense of unity by having matching frames. The prints I chose all meant something, there is a lily, a picture of London, (this is where she is studying at university)! there is a cat that looks just like our cat Minerva, Some fab typography with relevant quotes such as girl power, don’t grow up it’s a trap, a definition of hangry and a neon style dancing sign. Hanging them wasn’t quite so easy, our house is built of engineering bricks, we have yet to find a nail you can hammer into the wall! Add to this the fact that I always try and hang pictures by eye made for quite an interesting time! If the walls were in a mess before I started you should see the state of them now. I created quite a mess trying to get them all perfectly lined up. Please don’t zoom in and look too closely!
The ceiling was looking a bit dingy, it gets cold from being directly beneath the slate on the roof, so I hung some fairy lights from one of the beams to try detract from this, and I took a trip to home bargains to buy some bits and pieces to style her bedside table up with. I love the neon lips I found there.
A pink sheepskin rug next to the bed breaks up the faded old carpet.
The lighting which was in there was quite outdated and tatty, and there were two different lights. We updated them with these pendant lights from the iconic originals range at Iconic lights. They are beautifully made from glass, as Tim discovered when he unwrapped them and dropped two of the bulbs smashing them. I really do love iconic lights, they have a wide range of affordable stylish lights which are regularly updated. I think I have them in every single room now.
The rest of the room just needed a declutter, and as her wardrobe was almost empty I was able to shove lots of junk in there to keep it out of the way. I wonder how long it stays looking this smart when she returns in the summer?